My Role Model! Yup, its time you all had an exclusive sneak peek into my soul and not just my house. It’s time I let you into my life and told you about those two people who shaped me into who I am, being who they are and what they do and the way you like me. The old whites in my tatty house made me think beyond white paints this arvo…
Sipping a cup of tea, thinking of all the wonderful accolades, it dawned upon me that maybe it’s time to stop, reflect and show gratitude to those men whose everyday greatness brought me here. Greatness that they will never talk about or will go down in history. Then again, history celebrates the big, the cheat, dead, the sung, the cruel, and the bloody. History doesn’t celebrate the living. History doesn’t celebrate those everyday little things that transform people and their lives, making history. History doesn’t celebrate those unspoken moments which become the very pivot of our existence. History never celebrates the common day mendicants’ uncommon dilemmas and the people in whom they find answers. Heroic has a very twisted connotation in our world. This is greater than history. This is celebrating those men of solid steel who change your life uncelebrated, unspoken. Those who do but never demanded a piece of any of those awarding pies. Those who become the Rainbow in your cloud etching a spot in your heart, everyday. They never speak much, they go unsung. Reason why we should talk about them so “So long lives thee, this gives life to thee”. No? That’s Shakespeare by the way. Sonnet, 18.
This blog post is about immortalizing those people who taught me to not just learn but unlearn and relearn. Not just look but perceive. Not just do but perfect. Not just comfort but explore. Not just make but innovate. Not just take but seek. Those great human beings who makes me call them My Role Model. Today, it gives me much pleasure to break it to you that behind this one happy- if not successful by society standards- woman there are no women but two Men: two stout, strong men; dissimilar by design, distinctively individualistic with very strong views and yet undifferentiated by values. They are two opposites and yet strikes such a beautiful balance in me: I feel honoured that they are my men. Both. And I am a proud woman simply because of these two men in my life. What you don’t know is I began my life as a fat kid, uncool, scared, nervous and always taken for granted. I am still fat but I am strong as steel inside out.
Before I get to my role models, let me tell you this celebration doesn’t end with them for I know 4 more extraordinary gentlemen who has somehow or the other contributed to this evolution called Rukmini Roy. This post is dedicated to those 2 + 4. If you are reading this: Your mother, wife and sisters must be so proud of you, for who you are.
I’ll begin with this man because having come to my life for only 8 years, his significance is so massive that I’m having to take his name first as my role model. Rohan Kadam is his name and he practically scooped the scared, fearing, crying me up and changed my life. Many years ago, he told me, “Your life will be divided in two parts. One before you met me, the other after you met me.” And believe me so has happened. He made it happen. One of the many things that makes me ever so grateful to this man is the fact that he taught me how to stand up for myself. He taught me how to tell NO to things, decline what’s wrong, stand up for what’s right even if it means offending people you love. He taught me how life is never about the sofa you buy, indoors < outdoors and that you can be everything all at the same time. He taught me how to live a complete life and not get typecasted. He forced me to join him in a band and sing, the praises of which I enjoy is the fruit of his labour. He pushed me off boundaries only to help me climb. He rebuked me only to make me perfect. He critiqued me to tears so I can set benchmark. He taught me to face fears, face facts, be strong. He told me to travel by going miles himself and telling me how insignificant life’s problems are when you are facing the great Himalayas. He filled me with good music, exposed me to brilliant movies, books and literature. And in doing all this, he never asked me to change who I was from within. I was a rock. He was the river that sometimes lashed its water on me and sometimes gently flowed by me, everytime shaping me into a shiny, smooth pebble which now many would find beautiful. He is the makeover I really needed for my soul. From bars to road trips to marriage ceremonies and hill-top parties: We did it all together collecting memories getting wiser. He is the one who never believed in keeping me away from life’s pressures or situations. He taught me how to deal. And then one day, when I have learnt it all, he went ahead and asked me to marry him. That’s a man you should celebrate.
And then there’s my Role model since 1986: He doesn’t have another name than “Dad”
The ‘immaterial, quick to say sorry’ me is the direct result of who’s daughter I am. For the longest time that I have known him, I have not seen him buy anything for himself. Having made large architectural plants and many a government rest homes, he built his own house in a not so posh area in Kolkata: a little nook, beautifully frugal. He never denied me what I wanted but everything had to be earned. Other than smothering us with toys, he took us to great forests that belts the lesser Himalayas. Other than telling us how to be good women, he taught us how to be good human beings. He taught me how the one who apologizes for a fault that’s not even hers gives the person a higher pedestal than the one who demands it. He taught me how forgiveness is the greatest insult to tyranny. He taught me how to ignore and yet not be rude. He told me how people who has little knowledge are always the most boisterous, loud, self-loving. He made me see the how this world is full of unnecessary dramatic situations that could have been avoided with a simple apology. He taught me how to hear and not listen if that’s tarnishing your soul. He taught me how to be in the middle of everything and yet be in nothing. He taught me to chase happiness and not money and told me that the only thing that you must aim at being rich is everything that money can’t buy. I am proud to be his daughter. People say hard hitting is the only way to inculcate values in children: I do not believe that. He is a man who never hit us, never rebuked us and yet effectively soldered the values in our veins. Seeing him, we learnt and never forgot! That’s the difference between a tutor and a role model.
He told us to keep good company because a good company is the most important find of your life: happy that I ended up being friends with some of the greatest men I have known through Rohan. I sometimes wonder how I would have been without these people in my life? Coincidentally, other than one other girl, all my friends are men. Those men are my only friends. People who taught me to laugh, taught me patience, taught me music, taught me how to react to criticism. While some taught me photography, some taught me how to see rainbow over clouds and some- well, nothing at all but how to finish a cheese cake in exactly 4 minutes. But tell you what? These are great men. Men, who are my friends and who should be celebrated.
Proud to have the two as my own and know the 4. My world ends here.